Is it worth it?
Sep 22, 2016 at 6:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

New Hifi Geek

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Posts
3
Likes
0
At first I used 10 $ Cheap Chinese earphones to listen to music from YouTube(yeah YouTube :neutral_face:) , then I bought a new phone and I used the earphone that came with the phone and I bundled a streaming service and I was actually very happy. Now I believe that music is a huge deal to me, why don't I opt for better gear but the problem is that will I find a difference? I looked at some of headphones in the market and I actually liked B&O products(B&O H8), I know in terms of sound quality they aren't the best but they have a v.good bass and they are very crisp and clear, and If I was to put a set of cans on my head I would put those! And the price tag is not any cheap ~500 $, so should I invest in such a thing or just get 20 or 30 $ headphones and call it a day?
I know it's stupeid to ask a question like this on a website where most of the people are audiophiles but please answer my question.
P.S. :My ears are not trained to spot a lot of difference, I can actually identify 95kb from 195 kb from 320kb,not a lot though and I can some how spot the difference between ACC and Mp3 when they have near equal bit rate. {My music inerest is in pop, alternative rock(ex: hymn for the weekend), some hip hop, electronics, and in general Adel and SIA).
And thanks very much for putting time to answere my question.
 
Sep 22, 2016 at 7:40 PM Post #2 of 34

Kerry56

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Posts
538
Likes
57
If $500 spent on headphones is not a big problem, then jumping into the deep end of the pool might work for you.  But most of us wouldn't go blindly into that kind of expenditure for headphones.  Everyone's financial situation is different I suppose.
 
Personally, I'd dip my toes into the shallow end first, and try a less expensive set that is still well respected in its price bracket.  If you insist on wireless, I don't have any help for you myself, since I don't use them, but others will chip in some advice.
 
If wired headphones are acceptable, I think I'd start with the Creative Aurvana Live!, since you want some bass presence.  Its about $55 or so.
 
If you want something more robust, and up the scale in price, maybe the ATH-M40x or ATH-M50x. 
 
Or the Sennheiser HD 558 or HD598 if you'd like to try open back headphones.  They will leak sound to everyone around you, so I don't know if those will be appropriate for your uses.
 
And those are just a few in the $50-150 range that have a good rep.  Its not necessary to spend a lot to get good sound, especially if you are playing music straight from a portable device like a phone.
 
Sep 22, 2016 at 8:27 PM Post #4 of 34

EagleWings

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Posts
3,286
Likes
4,384
Location
Here
I have seen a lot of people spend a lot and then get back to a price range of $200-$400. I have seen at least a couple people say that this range is a sweet spot. A good set of headphone in this price range will give you a sense of upgrade over the earbuds that come bundled with your smartphone, while at the same time will not burn a huge hole in your pocket.
 
You have a good number of headphones that fall in that range, for example:
 
IEMs: FLC 8S, Dunu DN2000, Etymotic ER4SR;
Headphones: Hifiman HE400S, Oppo PM3, Sennheiser HD600, Beyerdynamic DT880, a couple of AKG models etc..
 
just to name a few. I am not familiar with the B&O H8. 
 
All gear over this price range have subtle improvements. But in this hobby, many of us are after those subtle improvements. Also above this price range, in order to get the best out of the headphones, you would have to invest in a good source. So the snowball starts to roll there..
 
Sep 22, 2016 at 8:29 PM Post #5 of 34

theveterans

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Posts
2,391
Likes
1,071
Location
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
IMO, if you're under $50, IEMs will beat any headphone in sound quality alone. An IEM such as Carbo Tenore would murder any headphone for $50 in sound quality IMO.
 
Sep 22, 2016 at 8:36 PM Post #6 of 34

PinkyPowers

Reviewer: The Headphone List
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Posts
6,160
Likes
6,845
Location
Kansas City, MO
My story went very much like yours, New Hifi Geek.

Two years ago I realized music had become a big part of my daily life. It didn't used to be. So I asked myself the same question: Will I hear a difference if I buy better equipment. I had underplayed the significance of sound my entire life, being more of a visual-focused guy.

I decided to invest $100 into what I considered an experiment. If I didn't hear a difference, well, at least I hadn't wasted more.

The Klipsch R6 IEM changed my world.

Two years later, and now I own three sets of $1,000 + earphones, and two amazing full-size headphones. I've bought an $800 DAC and Amp for my desktop, and a $1,599 portable music player (AK120ii)

Basically, what I'm trying to say is Yes. You will hear a difference. :)
 
Sep 22, 2016 at 9:19 PM Post #7 of 34

buke9

Headphoneus Supremus
Help and Recommendation Contributor
Joined
Feb 21, 2015
Posts
9,199
Likes
1,857
Location
Kentucky
You are starting to walk in dark water here. First off Bluetooth is ok but not the greatest sound quality . I myself can't stand on ears but that is me. I have never heard any of the B&O's so I will not comment on them. When your talking about $ 500 headphones I've never have seen them mentioned on here . That doesn't mean they are bad just that most here prefer wired headphones. They tend to sound better than wireless . You can hear the difference between the different bit rates tells me you would hear a big difference in headphones. As some others have said you can try some at a bit lower cost to get your feet wet just a little. There are hundreds literally in your price range of headphones and earphone i.e. IEM's . You just need to narrow down what you want out of this. You could be just as happy with a $30 headphone the only person that knows that is you.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 2:12 AM Post #8 of 34

GREQ

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Posts
5,761
Likes
3,363
Location
Frankfurt am Main
Just a general word of advice to the entire thread:
Let's not start measuring headphone performance by their price tag.
 
There are some giant killers out there too in the $10-50, and some headphones in the so called 'sweet spot' of $250-500 that are simply awful.
 
Just to throw in some valid examples:
The Good
KZ ATE - around $10 - Performs better than a huge percentage of IEMs up to $100-150
PANASONIC RP-HX650-K - Can be had for around $20 - same drivers as Creative Auvana Live!, so you guess for $20 is punches WAY above it's price.
 
The Bad
Beyerdynamic DX160ie - $70-100 - bad uncomfortable design, many reports of incurable and unmanageable driver-flex (but good sound)
Audio Technica ATH-CKS50 - $80(?) - sounds worse than apple ibuds or earpods (but fairly decent build quality)
Ultrasone Edition - normally over $1000 - sounds OBJECTIVELY worse than the Panasonic RP-HX650-K mentioned above.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 4:27 AM Post #9 of 34

New Hifi Geek

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Posts
3
Likes
0
I want to thank everybody who answered my question, ok so I'm going to try something 50~250 and see how that goes out becouse if I pay 350 or 400 for a headphone I might as well buy the H8 right. Now I need an ear bud for gym use, and since good earbudes are also in this price range I'll test it out on them to see if I find a difference, and I want your opinion on beats powerbeats 3, bose soundsport and maybe the B&O H5. And are beats and bose really bad?
Another thing when does a normal person really stop finding a difference between headphones? Is it mostly at 200 or 500 maybe at 1000+...
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 4:51 AM Post #10 of 34

GREQ

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Posts
5,761
Likes
3,363
Location
Frankfurt am Main
Another thing when does a normal person really stop finding a difference between headphones? Is it mostly at 200 or 500 maybe at 1000+...

Some people notice a bigger difference the more money they spend 
biggrin.gif
 
(it's actually a thing called expectation bias)
 
But really, just do some research, ask specific questions and best of all, go out and try some headphones for yourself.
For gym, get something from KZ. 
They're dirt cheap, so not costly replace and they sound amazing for the price. 
 
You don't really want to buy an expensive IEM for the ONE PLACE they're most likely to get caught on something and break.
 
I wouldn't suggest the KZ ATE, as they would probably fall out if you're on the treadmill (for example)
Go for some thing smaller with a snug fit.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 8:48 AM Post #11 of 34

squallkiercosa

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Posts
2,164
Likes
167
The answer is no.
It's not worth it. 
 
Whoever tries to convince you otherwise is not being objective. At the risk of sounding cliché, the whole world will try to convince about things you need or want (and headphones and audio equipment in general are not the exception)
 
A short story: My Father in law has an old pair of Sennheiser almost in pieces, I made him listen some of my headphones and although, technically my headphones surpassed his old relic, he was perfectly happy with his own pair. 
 
Keep in mind this is a hobby, so you can spend your money the way you want and enjoy spending time listening music. 
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM Post #12 of 34

PL4Y3R 0N3

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Posts
1,744
Likes
106
I want to thank everybody who answered my question, ok so I'm going to try something 50~250 and see how that goes out becouse if I pay 350 or 400 for a headphone I might as well buy the H8 right. Now I need an ear bud for gym use, and since good earbudes are also in this price range I'll test it out on them to see if I find a difference, and I want your opinion on beats powerbeats 3, bose soundsport and maybe the B&O H5. And are beats and bose really bad?
Another thing when does a normal person really stop finding a difference between headphones? Is it mostly at 200 or 500 maybe at 1000+...

Beats and nose aren't terrible (to me at least. Others on the thread still hold on to their brand bias) but as an owner of the beats studio wireless I can honestly say that their top of the line isn't really all that top of the line. They are more of a beginners headphone. Something that only dips slightly into the best there is in music. I've found that their sound quality is slightly less than my RHA ma750 (a great IEM to get into HiFi). That's not to say that they are bad, I actually enjoy them a lot, but at that price range there are better wired options (although I don't think there are better wireless ANC over ears at that price range).
For headphone I suggest the AKG k553. They have great bass that doesn't overpower the mids nearly as much as the studio wireless and overall good clarity. They were the firs over ears I tried that really impressed me after the studio wireless and are on massdrop right now for $119 I believe.
For in ears I have to reccomend the RHA ma750. They are really good overall, best I've heard so far. Good soundstage and good clarity. Maybe lacking in the mid-bass just a tad but makes up for it with great sub-bass. They have a 3 year warranty and are built of stainless steel with really nice cables. Only problem is they have a really long burn in and don't really sound great straight out of the box.
As for your final question, there are $60,000 headphones out there, and there are buyers for them. Take what you will from that.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 10:45 AM Post #13 of 34

PinkyPowers

Reviewer: The Headphone List
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Posts
6,160
Likes
6,845
Location
Kansas City, MO
The answer is no.
It's not worth it. 

Whoever tries to convince you otherwise is not being objective. At the risk of sounding cliché, the whole world will try to convince about things you need or want (and headphones and audio equipment in general are not the exception)

A short story: My Father in law has an old pair of Sennheiser almost in pieces, I made him listen some of my headphones and although, technically my headphones surpassed his old relic, he was perfectly happy with his own pair. 

Keep in mind this is a hobby, so you can spend your money the way you want and enjoy spending time listening music. 


Your father preferring his old Senns is completely reasonable. First off, Sennheisers, no matter what model you're talking about, is at the very least, a really decent headphone. They don't make poor products. Secondly, this could be more of a signature preference than an inability to perceive technical improvements.

You honestly don't think New Hifi Geek will hear a difference going from super cheap earbuds to something in the $150-200 range? You cannot be serious.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 10:56 AM Post #14 of 34

GREQ

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Posts
5,761
Likes
3,363
Location
Frankfurt am Main
 
Your father preferring his old Senns is completely reasonable. First off, Sennheisers, no matter what model you're talking about, is at the very least, a really decent headphone. They don't make poor products. 

This is simply not true.
Even the mighty Sennheiser has produced a few lemons in the past.
 
 
You honestly don't think New Hifi Geek will hear a difference going from super cheap earbuds to something in the $150-200 range? You cannot be serious.

I don't think anyone is saying that here.
We're all just trying to put things into some perspective here, that it's not all about how much you pay, and that value for money and reasonably "high fidelity" sound can be found at many price points.
 
Sep 23, 2016 at 11:31 AM Post #15 of 34

squallkiercosa

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Posts
2,164
Likes
167
An Indian guy asked for a recommendation some time ago: his budget was 60$ and because of the location, the number of headphones were limited. He made a list of 5 headphones he could find and afford.
The interesting part were the answers he got: most of the people insisted those headphones were awful, other proposed 200-300$ headphones available only in the States, others simply suggest him to save enough to buy a more expensive pair...
 
Our recently registered user is considering spending 500$ on a pair of headphones, he asked: is it worth it? The answer is still no. 
 
Edit: I kept the following picture for moments like these

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top